I love old stuff. Case in point, these wonderful, candy colored Pyrex bowls that I scored at a tag sale some years ago. I use them ALL THE TIME! In fact, I have other bowls languishing in my cupboards that I should probably get rid of. I don't though just in case, (horror of horrors!) these bowls should break someday. Then where would I be?
Our society is such a throw-away place these days. Buy it cheap, use it for awhile and then pitch it when it breaks. Part of the problem is the junky, crappy stuff we're buying. Another part of the problem is being too lazy to research ways in which an item can be fixed. (Remember my laundry basket? Still going strong!). Sometimes people don't have the skills they might need to fix things. I darn mine and my husband's socks. When I told him to put his holey socks (the clean ones!) in my mending basket, he laughed. He didn't believe I knew how to darn. In fact, he didn't even think that "darn" was a verb. And let me tell you, that my mother-in-law is not one to waste things. Surely she must darn socks? I'll have to ask her sometime. But some people don't know how to darn, or fix a laundry basket or repair a toaster oven. Some of us are just too lazy or unmotivated to learn these type of skills. And some, like me, are sure we would burn our houses down if we tried to repair a toaster or any other electrical gadget.
Still, all this waste gets on my nerves. This is one of the reasons I hate big box, cheap-crap stores. It's not so much that I feel they are taking over small towns and wiping out mom and pop type establishments (though in many areas, they are), I just don't like what they stand for. It's like the mentality of the shoppers in those stupid commercials for The Christmas Tree Shop. You see these women, carts piled high with loads of stuff I'm sure they didn't go into the store intending to buy. Betty, says to her friend: "Marge, did you see this chop-o-matic? It's ONLY $5.00!!!!" Marge: "Wow! $5.00? Let me get 10!" Marge's hands furiously snatch up chop-o-matics and throw them into her groaning shopping basket. Betty: "But Marge, you don't even cook!" Marge: "Who cares! At that price I can't afford to pass them up!"
"Who cares?" seems to be the mentality of a lot of shoppers these days. "Who cares that the people who made these jeans only got paid $.17. I got them for only $19.99. Now that's a bargain!" And, "Who cares that this junky little stroller/microwave/toy is going to break in 10 days, I'll just toss it out and get a new one."
And I'm certainly not saying it's all the fault of the consumer. Many companies now make things that will break quickly so that customers will keep coming back for more. A lot of times it's faster, cheaper, and easier to toss something out than to have it fixed because it costs less and is a whole lot more convenient to get a new gizmo than try to have a broken one fixed.
Grrrr, makes my blood boil.
If you, too hate waste, try this experiment. The next time something breaks and you are going to have it replaced, try to find out how it might be fixed. The next time you're about to buy a new piece of clothes, see if you can't find something just as cute at your local thrift store. The next time you really, really need something for your house, kid, dog, guinea pig, see if you can't find another alternative to brand spanking new. Could you borrow it? Barter for it? Repair something that would make do?
Creative thrift--hopefully the wave of the future.